By Emily / Last Updated August 10, 2020

Why install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows?

When building your computer, it is hard to make a choice between a solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD). Hard disk drives are much cheaper and more common, but they have internal moving parts, so they are more prone to damage. Moreover, HDDs tend to be slower in data reading and writing speed.By contrast, SSD drives are more durable because they have no moving parts. On the other hand, they load everything much faster than HDD.

Therefore, many users plan to replace HDD with SSD in laptop to make OS boot and run much faster. To install OS on SSD, you can remove the old hard drive, install the SSD drive into your laptop, then reinstall everything. But it is time-consuming. What’s worse, the things will become more complicated when you don’t have the Windows installation DVD or the Windows license and software activation keys are lost. So, you might ask: how to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows?

Steps to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling OS

To install SSD for replacing the old hard drive without reinstalling OS and other applications, you need to first transfer all data from HDD to the target solid-state drive, then remove the old HDD and install SSD into laptop to make it boot from the destination disk. The whole process can be divided into the following three steps:

Step 1. Transfer Windows to SSD drive

To move Windows from HDD to SSD drive is not as simple as dragging and dropping, which will make boot files become invalid and not work afterward. This special task requires a professional disk cloning software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It can transfer everything including Windows OS on your existing disk to another one by cloning a hard drive. Moreover, the destination hard disk is bootable after the clone. Below is how to clone HDD to SSD in detail.

Preparation work:
Connect the destination SSD drive to your laptop and make sure it is detected successfully. If your laptop has only one drive slot, you will need a SATA to USB adapter.
Move large applications that you do not want to keep on SSD: if your destination SSD drive is smaller than the current HDD, you can move larger folders to an external drive to reduce used space for cloning to the smaller SSD.
Make a full backup of your system: to avoid some unexpected accidents such as sudden power failure occurs during the cloning process, it is wise to make a system backup.
Back up everything required on the SSD drive because the cloning process will erase all the data on the destination disk.
The AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional comes with a Demo Version, so you can download it and have a try first.

1.1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to enter its main interface. Right-click the system disk and select “Clone Disk”.

Copy Disk

1.2. Choose a disk copying methods as you need and click “Next”.

Copy Disk Quickly

“Clone Disk Quickly”: only copies the used space to the destination disk. So you are allowed to clone large disk to smaller disk as long as the destination disk is larger than the used space of the source disk.
Sector-by-Sector Clone”: will copy every sector to the destination disk, so the destination disk must be larger than the source disk.

1.3. Select the destination disk and tick “Optimize the performance of SSD”. Then click “Next”.

Select Destination Disk

1.4. If you choose “Clone Disk Quickly” method above, you can change partition size in this window. After that, click “Next” to continue.

Edit Disk

1.5. Read the subsequent boot note carefully and click “Finish”.

Note

1.6. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” and then “Proceed” to execute the pending operation.

Apply

★★★★★If you just want to transfer OS partition to SSD, you can try its “Migrate OS to SSD” wizard.

Migrate Os To Ssd

Step 2. Install SSD drive to laptop

Once cloning is accomplished, all data on the original disk has been migrated to the SSD drive. Now, please take below steps to install the SSD drive into your laptop to replace the old hard drive.

2.1. Turn off your laptop; disconnect SSD drive, power cable and other connected cables. Place your laptop upside-down.

2.2. You should see a plastic cut-out panel in the bottom which is covered by several screws. Now remove them using a screwdriver. If your laptop has no cut-out, you need to take the entire bottom off to get access to your old hard drive.

2.3. Unscrew all screws that are used to secure your HDD to your laptop.

2.4. Lift the old drive up about 30 or 45 degrees and pull it out.

2.5. Now, you can install the SSD by doing the reverse of uninstalling the HDD. Please slide the solid-state drive in at an angle and push it correctly into place.

Install Ssd

2.6. Then secure it with the screws you removed before. At last, screw the back panel covering the drive back on.

Step 3. Boot laptop from SSD drive

Now, you can enter BIOS environment to change boot order to make laptop boot from SSD drive.

3.1. Reboot the laptop and long press ESC, F1,F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen. Then Boot menu will appear.

3.2. Use the arrow keys to access to the Boot tab. System devices will appear in order of priority.

3.3. To give the cloned SSD drive boot sequence priority over the hard drive, just move it to the first position in the list.

3.4. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility. And your laptop will restart with the changed settings.

If the cloned SSD won’t boot, you can check whether the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) is proper, and the system files are complete.

Final verdict

This is how to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows 10/8/7 step by step. Replacing laptop HDD with SSD drive is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to speed up computer.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also provides great solutions to manage your disk partition. For example, you can quickly partition a hard drive within two steps, allocate free space from one partition to another, convert system disk from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR without losing data and so on. To install SSD to replace HDD in Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.